Cool Tips from Teens
A mentor is a trustworthy adult who works with a younger person. The adult will share everything they know about their job. Students typically work with their mentors for a short while, but some mentorships can last years.
An intern is someone who works at a job for little or no pay. The intern might stay at the job for a short while, then take another internship somewhere else. Some interns get so much experience that their employers hire them fulltime.
We asked high school students, "Why do a mentorship or internship?"
- "To focus more on my career that I was interested in."
- "To clarify my career needs."
- "To get hands-on experience."
How did you get a mentorship?
Work through teacher/guidance counselor. Talk to them about what you're interested in, or what you might like to learn more about. They may know a professional who will be willing to work with you. Or, talk to your parent/guardian. Sometimes the answer may be simple; if you want to be a pediatrician, and you like your pediatrician, arrange an interview with him (or her) to see if he (or she) might want to be your mentor.
I've got a mentorship. Now what happens?
Students "shadow" their mentors, following them around while they are working. One student whose mentor was a pediatrician got to check patients' eyes and ears looking for infections, got to listen to their hearts, and had to listen closely as patients described their symptoms. Another student who thought that she was shy learned how to talk to lots of different types of people.
Watch the video clips at the right to hear what students had to say about their own mentor/internships.